2023 Man of the Year: David Shipley

Washington Post opinion editor David Shipley (Washington Post Live/YouTube)

David Shipley was supposed to be different.

When the Washington Post poached Shipley from Bloomberg to lead its opinion section, publisher Fred Ryan said he would bring "intellectual curiosity" and "thoughtful independence" to the section. "He is wholly committed to the vision of Post Opinions as a forum for diverse voices offering a wide variety of perspectives," Ryan wrote in a memo to staffers.

For a time, it seemed as if Shipley might make good on that promise. He hired an array of conservative voices to contribute to the section, saying one year ago that the move would help "reach an even broader readership."

Then came Michael Ramirez.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist, who joined the paper in May, did what he always does—submit a killer sketch on a timely subject. This time, that subject was Hamas and its terrorist invasion of Israel, with Ramirez drawing a cartoon that depicted Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad using women and children as human shields while saying, "How dare Israel attack civilians."

Ramirez sent that sketch—and a trove of others—to Shipley for his consideration. Shipley picked the Hamas one, and understandably so, given the importance of the topic. The Post ran the cartoon. The story should have ended there.

But it didn't. The Post's left-wing newsroom revolted, taking issue with Hamad's "large nose and snarling mouth." In other words, Post staffers got mad that Ramirez made a genocidal terrorist look like a genocidal terrorist.

Surely Shipley, a purported independent thinker who champions intellectual diversity, would defend his decision to publish his hand-selected cartoon, right? Wrong. He pulled the cartoon, then wrote an editor's note calling the image racist.

The decision came as a kick in the teeth for Ramirez, who merely did his job, and did it well. Still, we applaud Shipley for showing the world that the Post is the same as it ever was—a bastion of liberal groupthink that has little interest in appealing to anyone located west of the Potomac. For that, he is a Washington Free Beacon Man of the Year.